10 Best War Movies Based On Real People, According To Reddit – Screen Rant

From past wars to more modern ones, there have been a number of war movies based on real people that have struck a chord with audiences.
Since the earliest days of cinema, the war movie genre has always been a big draw for audiences. It is not hard to see the appeal as these types of movies can often show the darkest and most heroic sides of humanity. And as with any kind of movie, there is an added compelling aspect when it is a true story.
Fans on Reddit have named some of their favorite movies based on real people’s experiences throughout countless wars. Sometimes they explore the battlefield horrors and some take a larger view of the war in general. In any case, these fact-based war movies thrilled audiences.
The 21st century has seen a trend of movies exploring more modern war movies. Jarhead is based on the novel by Anthony Swofford detailing his state of mind as a Marine in the Gulf War. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Swofford in the movie in the unique psychological view of war.
The movie is not the typical action-packed war movie audiences might expect, but that lends to the realism of the story in the eyes of many fans. Redditor Coldstreamer described how the movie captures the “boredom followed by insane bursts of adrenaline” of war.
Ridley Scott delivered an exhilarating and relentless war movie with Black Hawk Down. The movie tells the story of the disastrous mission in Mogadishu in 1993 when a simple mission goes awry, leaving more than a hundred U.S. soldiers battling the heavily armed people of the city.
The star-studded cast that includes Ewan McGregor, Eric Bana, and Tom Hardy brings the heart-pounding story to life with some of the actors playing the real-life soldiers that fought the ferocious battle. Redditor AFKeeker called it “an excellent portrayal of many aspects of war.”
While many war movies show the horror of an open battlefield, Das Boot explored the terror and claustrophobia of those who fought in the submarines. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by Lothar G. Buchheim about his own experiences on a German U-boat.
The confined setting is used to amazing effect as the terror and doubt of the German sailors gradually set in. Redditor Imacad highlighted the movie’s unique feel in the war movie genre by admitting “I get chills just thinking about it.”
Some war movies can be based on real events while taking several liberties with the actual story. The Great Escape is one such movie that tells a thrilling adventure that is both one of the best war movies as well as one of the best prison movies. It is about British and American POWs who plan a daring escape during World War II.
Many of the characters, played by the likes of Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, are amalgamations of real-life characters. And while some of the facts are skewed for the Hollywood tale, it remains an endlessly enjoyable ride. Redditor Cyber_Caliphate147 admitted to watching it countless times and it is “like watching it for the first time every time.”
Mel Gibson is no stranger to the war movie genre and We Were Soldiers finds him in front of the camera for this Vietnam story. Gibson plays real-life military leader Hal Moore who leads a battalion during the harrowing Battle of Ia Drang.
The movie is based on a book written by Moore and war reporter Joseph L. Galloway who also appears as a character in the movie. It is a violent and brutal depiction of the chaos of battle which Redditor Professional_Aide499 dubbed simply as “underrated.”
Most war movies feature a large cast of characters in the midst of battle, but Lone Survivor focuses on four real-life soldiers who fought for their lives in a dangerous situation. Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Ben Foster, and Emile Hirsch star as Navy SEALs who find themselves surrounded by enemies while on a reconnaissance mission.
The movie is another modern war movie, depicting the war in Afghanistan and the mayhem of a mission gone wrong. With a small cast and scope, Redditor waynechriss called it “a more intimate war film.”
Though Michael Bay is known for his bombastic and over-the-top action movies, many fans were surprised by his grounded and realistic approach to the war movie 13 Hours. The movie tells the story of the soldiers who helped to defend the US Embassy attacks in Benghazi in 2012.
It can be difficult to tackle a subject that is so soon in history, but many found 13 Hours to be a solid depiction of the events. Redditor Turok1134 claimed it “is great if you’re looking for something that feels intense and unsettling.”
Based on Chris Kyle’s own memoir, American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper as Kyle who Redditor Illustrious_Fish777 pointed out is described as “the most lethal sniper in American history.”
The movie explores Kyle’s time in the war as he carried out several missions with deadly accuracy but struggled with the idea of returning home. While the movie has been criticized for glorifying war, some found it to be a realistic look at this modern legend in the military.
Serving as a biopic for one of the most famous military figures in American history, Patton has become regarded as a classic of the war movie genre. The movie follows the career of General George S. Patton through World War II as a tank commander.
Written by Francis Ford Coppola and starring George C. Scott in his Oscar-winning role, Patton is a thrilling look at this controversial figure. Redditor yakattackpronto simply called it “a fantastic film.”
Adolf Hitler has been depicted in several war movies over the years but few have focused directly on the man. Downfall is an unflinching and compelling look at Hitler’s final days in World War II as he saw his war effort crumble and his failure become a reality.
It can be difficult to make a movie about such an evil figure without showing the humanity in him, but Downfall is a fitting dismantling of Hitler, showing him to be a small and insecure man who brought about his own end. Redditor Bennett1984 hailed it as an “excellent film.”
NEXT: The 10 Best War Movies Of All Time, According To Letterboxd
Colin McCormick is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been a proud member of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Colin is also a writer of News, Feature and Review pieces at Game Rant. Colin has had a long passion and obsession with movies going back to the first time he saw The Lion King in theaters. Along with movies, Colin stays up-to-date on the latest must-see TV shows. While he loves to find interesting projects in any kind of genre, he has a special movie of crime stories that are infused with a little dark humor much like the work of his favorite author, Elmore Leonard.


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